〰️📣This Saturday, January 12 @ 3PM, LA — join us for a public lecture on the life and work of artist Chung Sang-hwa, on the occasion of the closing of the first major exhibition in Los Angeles to focus on the artist's work.
Chung Sang-hwa's early paintings from the 1960s were made in the style of Art Informel, then prevalent in the Korean art scene and a local movement in its own right. This exhibition presents several very rare examples from this period — colorful compositions with gestural mark-making that engage the negative space of the exposed canvas — a prelude of work to come in future decades. In contrast to these works in the exhibition, a suite of monochromatic grid paintings hangs nearby, examples from a body of work now renowned and iconic of Chung's oeuvre. Between 1967 and 1992, Chung lived in Paris and Kobe, where he developed this aesthetically minimal and process-focused practice. After applying multiple layers of acrylic to the canvas, the artist draws a grid on the reverse and alternately rolls, compresses, and scores the canvas in order to crack the painted façade, thereafter using a knife to further chip away at the surface. Chung then fills in areas with different types of paint, the varying speeds of drying causing further cracks to emerge. This exhibition also features the artist's Frottage works, drawings made by rubbing graphite onto paper laid over his completed paintings. With its technique rooted in labor and repetitive gesture, Chung's work is central to the history of the Dansaekhwa movement that emerged in the midst of Korea's postwar material deprivations and its authoritarian political system. Although the term literally means "monochrome painting," it is defined by the methods employed as much as its reductionist aesthetics.
Jung-Ah Woo is the current scholar-in-residence at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles and Associate Professor of Art History at the Pohang University of Science and Technology in South Korea.